This week the U.S. Federal Government awarded $9.2 million in grant funds to nine individual states for the purpose of improving the education of young children with special needs. These funds will be used to recruit and train teachers to improve the educational curriculum for students with specific learning abilities.  

The State Personnel Development Grants Program issued by the US Department of Education has awarded the Arkansas State Education Department, almost $900,000 from the total $9.2 million. Also awarded were the Sate Education Departments of Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada and Tennessee.   These monies will help train teachers and educational personnel, while providing students with special needs, enhanced and individualized learning programss. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “The number of children and youth ages 3-21 receiving special education services was 6.4 million, or about 13 percent of all public school students, in 2012-13. Some 35 percent of students receiving special education services had specific learning disabilities.”

There are many additional funding opportunities for non-profits, small businesses, foundations and individuals seeking to provide much needed services for young children with emotional, physical, physiological, academic and occupational disabilities. 

The Autism Society of Greater Orlando, the Able Trust and the Dan Marino Foundation Resource are just three such organizations that have dedicated themselves to funding programs in the best interest of youth, specifically, those challenged with special needs.

The State Personnel Development Grants Program assists State Educational Agencies to better prepare teachers, aides and educational personnel involved in early intervention of infants and toddlers and transitional services, as they enter the elementary school grades.

More specifically, the State Development Grants Program will assist State Educational Agencies (SEAs) in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, educational, and transition services in order to improve results for children with disabilities ranging from birth to 26 years of age. To apply for the State Personnel Development Grants Program, each state was required to select one school of higher education (IHE) inline with the grants goals and objectives.    

Helping children with special needs should always be a top priority for private and public funding sources, States and the United States federal government. Grants like the State Personnel Development Grants Program contribute greatly in preparing teachers and personnel working with the special needs population. 

 

Sources: 

Children and Youth with Disabilities 
(Last Updated: May 2015) 

Special Education Grants